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Cable Technology Feature Article

February 13, 2012

Chipotle Takes Advertisement from YouTube to the Grammies

By Oliver VanDervoort, Contributing Writer

YouTube (News - Alert) has been gaining steam as a way for advertisers to find different ways to reach their customers. Some companies have found a way to make YouTube a little more interactive in order to draw more of a crowd. Chipotle has decided that a two-minute and 20-second advertisement that debuted on YouTube was popular enough to put it up on the regular airwaves.

Chipotle has long had an ad on YouTube called “Back to the Start,” a video that is set to an accoustic version of Coldplay's “The Scientist” played by music legend Willie Nelson. The video is an animated story that shows a farmer turning his back on the major corporate farms that are springing up all over. The clip gained popularity last year because of its presentation but also because of its charitable component as a portion of the proceeds from sales of the song on iTunes were donated to the Chipotle Cultivate Foundation.

One big difference between what Chipotle is doing and what other advertisers are doing is that the food company might take a clip of the 2:20 video and make a 30-second segment out of it. Chipotle has decided that the ad was simply too good to cut up and ran the whole thing during Sunday night's Grammy awards. The choice of when to air the ad also seemed to carry some weight, since Willie Nelson has 10 Grammies in his trophy case and Coldplay won a Grammy for the original version of the song back in 2004.

While Sunday night was the first time that the advertisement was seen on broadcast television, Chipotle had long ago started broadcasting the YouTube video in other avenues such as movie theaters. The Mexican food chain is rapidly gaining a reputation as a company that has some very original ideas on how to best get their name out there. 

Although the company doesn't do a large amount of advertising, they do have some interesting marketing strategies.  One of its most long-running marketing approaches was its Halloween season “Boorito” campaign where customers received discounts when they came into the stores dressed to match certain themes.

Edited by Carrie Schmelkin

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